The Bitter Truth (story)

The breeze was soothing. In the park, Avni walked slowly, talking with her brother over phone.

“Come and meet father, you know he has started forgetting everything, Alzheimers is taking a toll on him, doctors told that now he is going towards advanced stage of his ailment. Meet him before he forgets you”, her brother was saying.

“Can he recognise you?” Avni asked.

He said,” Yes he can, upto some extent, we are with him, he is seeing us regularly,  so it is possible. But you are out of sight, so out of mind. Come, come and meet him.”
“Okay let me check the tickets, I will reach there within few days,” said Avni.

Avni sat at the airport, bit frustrated by the announcements that the flight is delayed by 25 minutes. She started recalling all the beautiful moments spend with her family, her childhood days. The memories were so pleasant that 25 minutes simply vanished.

As she landed in Delhi Airport, she could see her brother waiting for her.
While driving home, her brother gave her all the medical details of father and also some facts. He told her that mother is the real passive sufferer, because she is witnessing every moment of his pain and deterioration. Father responds to and loves brother’s son the most, if he cries, father can’t bear it.
They reached home.
Avni ran to her parent’s room. Her father was looking very pale and thin. Rice pipe was in nose, as he was unable to eat properly.

He gave a big smile as Avni asked,” Can you recognise me? Tell, tell who am I?”
Mother immediately said,” She is Avni.”
Avni could understand that she didn’t want Avni to undergo the pain, thinking that he has forgotten her.
” Yes, yes Avni, I remember,” Father said, and added, ” How are you?”
” I am fine, but why are you on bed, get up and walk, you can’t effort to be sick”, Avni tried to smile.
” I am not sick, they say sleep, sleep, so I am sleeping,” father replied.
Avni started chatting, “You remember father, when we use to go to Gulbarga from Wadi, you use to buy the best dress the mannequin use to wear, and matching shoes and hair band.”
Father replied,” Yes, the best  dress for you.”
“And do you remember, when I use to get sick, you use to sit with me the whole night, you use to tell all good stories.”
Father replied, “Yes, all good stories for you.”
Avni went on talking and her father tried his best to reply and satisfy her. But as he had gone very weak, he started panting soon.
Avni said, “See brother, he remembers me too, not only that, he had not forgotten  anything. How can he forget his dear daughter?”
Avni thought, she should inform her husband about father’s health.
Avni said,” Father you take rest, I will just come after making a call.”
Father nodded.
As she slowly closed the door, gesturing  her mother that she is going out to make a call, she heard her father asking her mother, ” Who was that lady?”
Avni was stunned, speechless, sat on the dining chair holding her head.

“Oh, he was just pretending to recall, he doesn’t remember me at all. He has really forgotten me. Oh, he has really forgotten  me.” Avni found herself choking with anguish, pain, self pity and God knows  what all emotions.

Her brother came and sat there silently. Both were speechless,  both were trying to swallow their tears, both were feeling helpless, both were lost in their pain.
Slowly her brother said,” Father forgot you, he will forget us all soon. He is suffering, sometimes he is sad, sometimes he is scared, sometimes he laughs, sometimes he screams, he has got problem while eating, while swallowing, but we can’t run away from the facts.”
He paused and said,” You can’t pretend it’s not there. He gave his best to us always, now it is our turn, we know he is our father, we love him, and that’s enough. We can’t  change our fate, let us change our attitude.
Let us love him unconditionally.
Avni nodded, ” Yes brother, let us love him unconditionally”.

Avni entered her parents room and smiled at her father and asked him,” Can you recognise me, I am Asha.”
Father promptly replied with a big smile, ” Yes, yes Asha, how are you ?”
Avni and her mother smiled sadly. Truth is bitter, always.

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18 thoughts on “The Bitter Truth (story)

  1. avni & asha or may be any other description for this girl, but its commendable that ailing papa had that courtesy imbibed to ensure that no one known or unknown is hurt even unknowingly by any reciprocation of gestures as a mark of etiquette while meeting any one…kudos to such mannerism, required essentially to make any one happy.. especially when the recipient end is the one who advocates “happiness is contagious spread it” and on the other end there is the father of this angel…this proves that family has values and culture too..what a great coherent family…..

    in today’s time hardly there are such children who unconditionally take care of their ailing parents who have nothing to pass on for their children as legacy or property…..else there are many stories about such children who wait for parents to die so that they inherit fortunes without earning it….or there have been incidences of brawl over property succession….or daughter in law not liking her inlaws or vice-versa…resulting into too much of nuclear setups in the family.

    however truth even if bitter there is an element of sweetness ingrained when love is unconditional….a rare thing to be manifested… we all live in our own world of illusion craving for response without giving it up to others …thus can we imagine the real situation of unconditional state….NO!!!

    old age dementia and such ailments have their own toll on parents but equally is the agony on their partners because they have their world in common….but the discretion with children is always open to escape away…but it may not happen if the grooming has some values & culture….i think whole of your family deserves the unconditional rewards what is meant for happy living…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It takes a lot of mental strength to smile and make smile in distress , specially when it is concerned with the hero of your childhood…….Nothing more to say,simply……..hats off, hats off to u.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While reading this story, I got goosebumps. It is really very difficult and painful for the children to accept this truth that the person who is the strength of the family and the hero of their life is not recognizing them! This story was really mesmerizing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very emotional,true,and sad story.it completly express the feelings and suffering of people having mother,father or other relative with alzhemiers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is one thing Alzheimer can’t take away, and that is love. Love is not a memory, its a feeling that resides in our heart and soul. Thank you Medha for liking the story.

      Like

  5. Really touching the heart….i appreciate that son…how lovable he is to his parents…now adays its very difficult to see such son father relations…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of life’s toughest challenge is to accept the reality when the ‘near and dear ‘ ones are no more near…and neither you are dear to that person anymore. ….Best part of Avni and his brother is their endurance, optimism and coherence. This bonds the family together while sailing through the tough time and also provided their mother the strength to come to terms with the harsh reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sickness is a time of great emotional and physical exhaustion, but that challenge also highlights how inspirational our friends, families and supporters can really be in our life. Thank you . I am glad you liked it.

      Like

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